How to get a scholarship to study in the USA?


” If you think education is expensive, try ignorance! ” This quote from Abraham Lincoln will prove to be a good mantra to repeat to you when you find out how much it costs to attend higher education in the United States!
From 4,000 to more than 60,000 € per year, tuition fees in the USA are among the highest in the world. But rest assured, money should not be a brake on your American dream because there are many possibilities to finance your studies across the Atlantic.
Follow our instructions to find out from whom to apply for a scholarship and aid to finance all or part of your studies in the United States .

When to apply for a scholarship to study in the United States?
As soon as possible so that you can organize yourself and find other financial means in case of refusal.
Generally, you must apply for a scholarship in parallel with your application for admission to a higher education institution in the United States .
Attention ! While many sources indicate that the deadline for submitting an application is generally set at January 1 for a start of the academic year scheduled for mid-August of the same year, you should know that some applications must be submitted before December 1 .of the previous year. Each institution or organization providing financial support sets its own deadlines. Ask them directly.

Our advice : start your steps 1 year in advance.

On what criteria can a scholarship to study in the United States be awarded?
The files examined are mainly evaluated on financial resources, academic results , specific skills and talents (athletic, artistic, etc.), the quality of the study project and the applicant’s motivation.
Some private organizations or foundations , which award scholarships and financial aid, may have different or additional award criteria: the gender of the candidate, his personality, his “high potential”, his involvement in a particular cause, his activities associative and extracurricular…

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Who can I apply to for scholarships or financial aid to study in the United States?
American academic institutions
You can apply directly for a merit scholarship at the university where you want to study in the United States. Knowing that these endowments are generally and most often granted to students who go to do a Master’s or a doctorate ( graduate and post-graduate studies ).
However, there are also many opportunities to obtain more or less substantial financial support if you plan to pursue undergraduate studies .
You can thus consult on the EducationUSA network site the list of nearly 1,000 American universities that offer scholarships to international students.. You will select your level of studies, the State where you would like to continue your course and can then choose the establishments where you will submit your admission application and scholarship application .
You also have the opportunity to find out about the institutions (about fifty across the country) that are participating in the #YouAreWelcomeHere Scholarship campaign . A program that aims to encourage foreign students to come to the USA by offering a limited number of them a 50% reduction on tuition fees .

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Scholarships from the Franco-American Commission
With the financial support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the American Department of State and in collaboration with partner foundations, the Franco-American Commission has developed the Fulbright “Student” scholarship program . It is intended for French students (minimum bac+3) who plan to prepare a Master’s or Doctorate (PhD) level diploma in the United States and whatever the discipline.
Each year, 6 to 12 scholarships are awarded on the sole criterion of merit , for the duration of an academic year and the amount awarded varies from 6,000 to 50,000 $ (approximately 5,000 € to 41,500 €). For the application procedure, click here .

Financial aid in France to study in the United States
1. University exchange programs
To spend a semester or a year in an American establishment in order to continue your studies there, contact the international relations office of the establishment where you are studying in France. You will be told about the exchange programs that have been set up with partner universities abroad and in the USA .
In this context, you will only have to pay your registration fees in France … Much less expensive than those practiced across the Atlantic!
To find out which French establishments are part of such a program, consult the ISEP Study Abroad websites., which covers a network of more than 140 American universities throughout the country, and that of MICEFA , a partner of more than 65 universities in the USA and Canada.

2. Financial boosts from the State and communities

Aid for international mobility : this scholarship granted by the CNOUS is in the amount of €400 per month (rate for the 2020-21 academic year) paid over a maximum of 9 monthly payments. It is intended for students who benefit from a scholarship based on social criteria, specific annual aid, who are preparing “a national diploma falling within the competence of the Ministry of Higher Education” (source and who plan to pursue higher education abroad .
To apply, you must withdraw a file from the international relations department of your establishment.
Good to know : This aid can be combined with other scholarships.

Grants offered by local authorities : contact the Regional, Departmental Council and/or your town hall to find out about their various schemes to financially support students who wish to continue their studies abroad. For example, the Normandy region has set up the Pass Monde which is aimed at a wide range of students, all levels and fields combined.
Did you know ? If you dream of studying on a campus while enjoying Miami nightlife and the paradisiacal beaches of the Keys, there is an interesting twinning agreement between France and the Sunshine state. This is the Florida-France Linkage Institute , which allows around twenty French students each year, admitted to a public institution in this American state, to pay much lower tuition fees because they are calculated on the amount of those applied to Florida residents ( in-state tuition fees ).

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Apply for a scholarship from a Foundation
Many Foundations reserve part of their budget for financial aid for French students wishing to go abroad and to the USA in particular.
But beware ! The number of scholarships is obviously limited and applicants must present an irreproachable file that meets the selection criteria specific to each organization.

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Below are some foundations to help you obtain financial assistance in order to carry out or determine your study project in the United States

The Rotary Foundation : open to candidates who are not members of this club, the “Rotary Peace Scholarships” are awarded each year to nearly fifty foreign students who aspire to change the world by obtaining a Master’s degree in the Study of peace and conflict at one of its 6 partner institutions, including Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, both located in North Carolina .

The PEO International Peace Scholarship is a scholarship set up by the PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization) Foundation. It is open to women around the world who want to study in the United States or Canada. Its amount can reach up to $12,500 (about 10,400 euros).
To apply, you must be a foreign student (citizen or permanent resident of a country other than Canada or the United States), be admissible to an American university for a graduate studies degree and have one more year studies to be carried out.

The Foundation of the Franco-American Chamber of Commerce : also called the “Serge Bellanger Scholarship”, its award is based on merit and offers French students, accepted in an MBA program in the USA, support in the amount of 10,000 dollars (around €8,280) to finance their tuition fees.

The Kenza Foundation – Institut de France : for a maximum amount of 10,000 euros, this scholarship is offered to students (the number varies each year) enrolled in Art and Art History in major French establishments (École du Louvre, École National Superior of Fine Arts in Lyon, Paris-Sorbonne University, etc. and who plan to continue their studies abroad, including the United States. The following are taken into consideration when examining the application file: the ambition and objectives of your project, the excellence of your career and your financial situation.

Prizes and scholarships from Foundations of establishments in France : some universities and Grandes Ecoles offer substantial financial aid to their students in order to encourage international mobility.
This is notably the case of the Magne grant, which grants financial support to Arts et Métiers ParisTech students admitted to an American university for their 3rd year.
Or the Victoria Prize , intended for scholarship students (CROUS 5,6 or 7) from the University College of Sciences Po (all campuses combined) going abroad as part of the 3rd year.
Do not hesitate to knock on the door of the administrative services of your establishment to inquire. We are never safe from a good surprise!
Our advice : take a look at the International Scholarships platform . It lists many opportunities to get a scholarship in a higher education institution around the world. You may come across an American university that you hadn’t thought of and that could change the course of your life… at a lower cost!

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